Friday, March 20, 2020
MEXICO CITY — The United States and Mexico have reached an agreement for a partial closure of the border, according to U.S and Mexican officials.[Washington Post]
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced the closure on Twitter, and President Trump and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the deal at a White House briefing Friday.
“We are not talking about a closure of the border with the U.S. because it is not that,” Ebrard said early Friday. “It will be restricted; it will be restricted for cases that are related to tourism and recreation.”
Ebrard added that Mexico would continue accepting asylum seekers sent back under the Migrant Protection Protocols, along with Mexican deportees. But it would not allow the United States to return all migrants who cross the border illegally to Mexican territory, as the Trump Administration proposed earlier this week. He insisted the measures would not restrict any economic activity and would “reduce the risk of the virus’s spread.”
Last weekend, 110,000 people attended the “Vive Latino” music festival in Mexico City, which took place as scheduled despite several confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mexico’s capital. At the same time, while governments worldwide took drastic measures to slow down the spread of the disease, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, traveled to the south of Mexico and met with adoring crowds, shaking hands and hugging and kissing supporters. During his daily press conferences, AMLO has insisted that his honesty and moral rectitude protect him from the virus and that the threat of COVID-19 is greatly exaggerated. “I have great faith that we will move our dear Mexico forward, that misfortunes and pandemics won’t affect us,” he told reporters at a press conference on Sunday.[Slate]